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DTN Livestock Midday: Strong Gains Hold in Lean Hog Futures

Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst October 11, 2017

DTN Livestock Midday: Strong Gains Hold in Lean Hog Futures

Early support seen in hog trade continues to hold at midday. Cattle markets remain weak at midday, although limited trade activity has allowed prices to hold narrowly mixed price ranges in both live cattle and feeder cattle markets.

GENERAL COMMENTS:

Mixed price levels are seen through the complex at midday Wednesday as traders are looking for additional price direction through the complex. There continues to be some additional support seen across the lean hog futures trade, though narrow losses are seen in cattle trade.

Corn prices are lower in light trade. December corn futures are 2 cents lower. Stock markets are higher in light trade. The Dow Jones is 17 points higher while Nasdaq is up 4 point.

LIVE CATTLE:

Sharp gains seen Tuesday have given way to mixed trade Wednesday as trade volume has remained extremely sluggish. The limited activity is creating uncertainty as commercial trades are unwilling to actively step into the market, but still not willing to give up the moves seen earlier in the week. This could remain a stalemate over the next couple days, which could lead to limited price direction.

Cash cattle markets are starting to slowly develop Wednesday morning with a few bids starting to be seen. Bids are seen at $108 in the South and $172 in the North, but unable to gain much attention from feeders. Asking prices are holding at this point at $113 and higher in the South and likely $176 and higher in the North.

Activity on the Fed Cattle Exchange Auction report Wednesday listed a total of 1,444 head, with zero actually sold, 526 head listed as unsold, and 918 head listed as PO (passed offer). The state-by-state breakdown looks like this:

  • KS 916 total head, with zero head sold, 236 head unsold, 680 head listed as PO ($110.00-110.50);
  • NE 124 total head, with zero head sold, 124 head unsold;
  • TX 404 total head, with zero head sold, 166 head unsold, and 238 head listed as PO ($110.75);
  • CO no cattle reported;
  • IA no cattle reported;
  • other states no cattle reported.

The delivery date/weighted averages breakdown is as listed:

  • 1-9 day delivery: 845 head total, zero head sold;
  • 1-17 day delivery 422 head total, zero head sold; 10-17 day delivery no cattle reported;
  • 17-30 day delivery 124 head total, zero head sold.

Beef cut-outs at midday are lower, $0.77 lower (select) and down $0.64 per cwt (choice) with active movement of 113 total loads reported (58 loads of choice cuts, 23 loads of select cuts, 8 loads of trimmings, 24 loads of ground beef).

FEEDER CATTLE:

Early pressure in feeder cattle futures has given way to mixed trade at midday due to sluggish market activity seen through the complex. October feeder cattle futures are holding a 5-cent-per-cwt gain while the rest of the complex is 15 to 45 cents per cwt lower as traders remain focused on squaring moves seen Tuesday.

LEAN HOGS:

Strong buyer support moved into the lean hog futures complex with December contracts posting gains of $1.07 per cwt at midday. This rally helped to bring commercial support into all nearby contracts. The firm support in cash and pork values through the morning is helping to solidify technical support through the month of October with nearby contracts attempting to break through resistance levels.

Trade volume is expected to remain sluggish through the end of the trading session, but the ability to draw additional activity at closing bell could spark increased long-term support to the market.

Cash prices are higher on the National Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price gained $0.25 at $55.25 per cwt with the range from $50.00 to $56.25 on 8,755 head reported sold.

Cash prices higher on the Iowa/Minnesota Direct morning cash hog report. The weighted average price added $0.18 at $55.58 per cwt with the range from $50.00 to $56.25 on 6,725 head reported sold.

The National Pork Plant Report reported 195 loads selling with prices adding $0.42 per cwt. Lean hog index for 10/9 is at $57.11 up $0.69 with a projected two-day index of $58.32, up 1.21.

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Ernst Undesser
By Rick Kment DTN Analyst October 11, 2017